If you’ve got a soda habit you can’t kick, try crowding it out.
It can feel overwhelming, depressing, and impossible to think about giving up your favorite soft drink altogether. So start with a smaller change. Add different, healthier beverages to your routine. And find some new-to-you beverages that nourish your body, leave you feeling better, and reduce the number of times you reach for the soda.
But if you cannot cut out the soda entirely, consider reducing how many you have.
Crowd them out.
By adding in healthier beverages, you make less room in your diet for less-healthy options. This “crowding out” can help you change your habits. And, in the case of soda, by making these changes you’ll make several health improvements. You’ll strengthen your bones, brain, and gut. And before you know it, you may have eliminated or severely reduced your intake.
Alternative drinks when you’ve got a soda habit you can’t kick
Water is choice #1 when crowding out. Our bodies are more than half made up of water, and most of us don’t get enough of it. But some people don’t like regular water from the tap.
One idea would be to fill a water pitcher each day and challenge yourself to drink it. Or reach for a BPA-free water bottle, and keep it with you, on your desk or in your car. Set timers to remind you to drink.
How much water do we need per day? Aim for half of your body weight, in ounces. Weigh 150 pounds? Strive to drink 75 ounces of water each day. And if you don’t like the taste of tap water, you can add slices of citrus fruit, berries, mint, or even jalapeno to give your water a different flavor. Carbonated water might be an option for those who like their fizzy, though it shouldn’t replace your still-water intake completely.
Choice #2 might be green tea, which is full of antioxidants and nutrients with a proven positive effect on the body, such as brain health and weight loss.
Our other healthy options for crowding out
Beyond that, our family uses some additional options to help us crowd out soft drinks from our diet.
The refrigerated beverage section of our local grocery store is more interesting than ever. Bottled kombucha, kefir, smoothies, and fruit water line the shelves. But read labels when reaching for one of these options. Particularly, pay attention to how much sugar is in each serving. Often, there’s a lot! Usually the only one I buy for me is a ginger-flavored kombucha, as an occasional treat.
What’s your overall health goal? Why are you drinking sodas in the first place? Why do you want to replace them? Knowing the answers to these questions helps you make wiser choices when you’ve got a soda habit you want to kick.
Our family also keeps on hand a selection of drink powders that provide us with essential nutrients and not just empty calories. We purchase these online through Youngevity, a direct-sales company for which I am an associate. For my full disclosure policy, please right-click on this link.
My nutritional foundation is a vitamin-mineral drink called Beyond Tangy Tangerine 2.0. It’s my multivitamin in powdered drink form (though it’s also available in a tablet). It is part of the overall Healthy Body Start Pak that I have used for more than 3 years.
Rebound, which was designed as a during- and after-sports drink, helped my pre-teen son give up sodas for more than a year. At dinner one evening, we discussed the amount of sugar in beverages. He started to compare labels. And the “all natural” lemonade competed with Sprite in sugar content. So did orange juice.
They all are sugar bombs.
So then we compared those to Rebound, which in its powder form has only 8.5 grams of sugar per 12- to 16-ounce serving. Compare that to the 23 grams of sugar in a 12-ounce serving of Sprite. In comparison, an 8-oz serving of orange juice contains 22 grams of sugars. For more information about Rebound fx, compared to other sports drinks, click here.
A few more options
Another family favorite is Pollen Burst, which comes in three different flavors. It has been my husband’s go-to when he wants to reduce his number of Coke Zero servings. He doesn’t drink coffee or tea, and he doesn’t want the extra calories. So he turns to diet soda for his caffeine boost. But when he adds in a Pollen Burst during the day, he drinks one less diet soda. And Pollen Burst (grape) has only 40 calories and 9 g. of sugars per 12-ounce serving. Sometimes, it’s about the baby steps.
A newer powdered drink that we keep on hand and I drink almost daily is Super Greens. With raw organic fruits and vegetables, fermented whole foods, live probiotics and digestive enzymes, this powder when added with 8-12 ounces of water has 25 calories and 1 g. of sugar. I love the spearmint flavor. And I love knowing that I’m getting a boost of vegetables and superfoods in my diet when I drink it.
Making a deal with yourself to kick the habit
By adding in these healthier options – from water to green tea to powdered drinks mixed with water – we drink less soda in our house. And we know we’re taking in more nutrients than any soft drink or sugar bomb could ever hope to give us.
These choices come down to making a deal with ourselves, that we’d like to be as healthy tomorrow as we are today – or healthier. What choices will help us get there?
Maybe crowding out can help.
Have you broken or reduced a soda pop habit? What worked for you?
Amy is an integrative health coach trained through Duke Integrative Medicine. Learn more about 1-on-1 coaching here. She also is an educator and health cheerleader in the YGY Club Healthy Lifestyles Group on Facebook. For more details on joining that accountability group, contact Amy.
If you’re new here and don’t want to miss a thing, be sure to CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter and updates. Thank you for visiting!